You may have heard that the Cincinnati Reds have been streaking of late. Streaking, albeit, in a not-so-good way.
They entered play on Sunday having not held a lead after the home-half of an inning since the dawn of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, had lost [insert incredibly large number] of games in a row, and were had gone just about every day of the season with at least one placement of a Red on the Injured List. On top of that, they had not won a single Major League game of baseball since the son of the team’s primary owner - and COO of the team - had yapped to the media about the stranglehold he assumed he had on this team’s entire fanbase despite the copious amount of egg already on his face.
Fortunately, the Reds had Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game [TM] Nick Lodolo to finally help stem that tide on Sunday.
The team’s promising rookie spun 5.2 IP of 1 ER ball against the St. Louis Cardinals on the day, fanning 7 against nary a walk - the kind of excellent command of the zone on display again that we came to expect after his outings in the minors. He scattered 5 hits, used his 95 mph fastball and lowered arm-angle to dominate the top of the zone, and genuinely kept the St. Louis hitters off-balance throughout his 79 pitch outing.
For his efforts, he picked up his first career big league win, a stat that’s meaningless in the grand scheme but no doubt meaningful to the parties involved, a due reward for a day well spent.
Of course, none of that last bit would’ve been possible had the team’s offense not risen up against Adam Wainwright and smote his ruin on the mountainside on Nick’s behalf. Reds hitters tatted him up for 4 walks and 8 hits through 5.0 IP, scoring 4 runs that served as good enough to put another W in the W column. Nick Senzel had a pair of hits and a ribbie, Tommy Pham singled, doubled, walked, and scored twice, Colin Moran bonked in a pair of runs with a bloop, and the team actually looked like it knew what to do out there in the batter’s box.
That 4-1 win wasn’t the kind of win that most will remember for years, or anything, but after the mess of the last few weeks, it was very well overdue and unique.
- Joey Votto went 0 for 1 with 3 walks in very Joey Votto fashion. With his career average sitting at exactly .300 now, though, every day in which he doesn’t honk snotbogglers into the outfield seats on the regular inches him closer to falling out of the career .300/.400/.500 club in which he has stood since at least the end of the 2010 season.
- The Reds are heading to Colorado this week! Y’all don’t care. I barely care, but I kind of care. I think Sunday’s the day I’ll make it to Coors to see this show in person, ideally with both Tyler Stephenson and Jonathan India in the lineup.
- Luis Castillo had his first rehab start with Class-A Dayton today. It wasn’t great statistically, but he sat 94-96 mph and actually was on a baseball mound, which I’ll take as progress right now.
- There’s an off-day on Monday for Cincinnati before they host the San Diego Padres in a run-back of last week’s debacle in Petco. Reiver Sanmartin and Joe Musgrove will start for their respective clubs in the series opener on Tuesday, with first pitch set for 6:40 PM ET.